Utah Adoption Attorney

Utah Adoption Attorney

Adoption Types
• Private Placement: When a birth mother has selected a family, we will help guide them and the adoptive parents through the relationship, documentation, and qualification process, as well as the final court hearing.

• Step-Parent: The number of step-parent adoptions has increased in recent years. While some different rules apply, when a step-parent is ready to accept that special role in a child’s life, we help ensure that biological parents’ rights are properly terminated and the correct orders protect that new parent-child relationship. Because of our reputation, we are asked more frequently to assist in adoptions facilitated by state agencies. All good foster parents give a special gift to society by sharing their home and hearts so that children can be placed in their care. When they choose to make a selfless commitment to give a child the chance at a real, permanent home and family, we are here to guide them all the way to the final decree.
• Arranging Surrogacy – Choosing to use a surrogate for a child often centres on the parental couple’s inability to carry a child for medical or other physical reasons. Unfortunately, many people choose to have an unofficial surrogate for their child and never contact an attorney to sort through the issues relating to parental rights or consent of the surrogate. We will ensure your surrogate meets all of your requirements regarding protecting the health of your child and her responsibilities during the course of the pregnancy.
• Embryo, Sperm, or Ovum Donation – Donating an embryo, sperm, or ovum (the egg) to a couple wanting a child can be one of the greatest gifts to another person. However, this issue of parental rights will come up without a binding, legal contract executed by an attorney.
• Single-Parent Adoptions and Surrogacy –Attorneys can assist single-parents with finding a surrogate and ensuring all requirements are met to adopt a child.
• Same-Sex Parental Adoptions and Surrogacy – The Supreme Court’s decision regarding same-sex marriage appeals from the 10th Circuit District Court legally enabled same-sex couples to have a child via adoption or surrogacy in Utah. We can ensure that both same-sex parents have equal rights to the child.
• Birth Certificates – Attorneys can help you obtain a legally valid birth certificate and ensure birth orders accurately reflect the child’s parents utilizing surrogacy.

Utah adoption process

Adoption establishes a parent-child relationship between individuals who are not naturally related. In many cases, the process requires a natural parent to relinquish his or her right to the child being adopted, which is why legal adoption requires a court proceeding and adherence to strict procedures. Adoption attorneys ensure that several parties receive notification of your intent to adopt, including the child’s natural parents, any current guardian or custodian and any other person standing in loco parentis — serving a role similar to a parent in place of a parent. In many cases, including the adoption of a minor stepchild, the noncustodial parent must consent to the adoption. If the noncustodial parent refuses to consent, a trial may be necessary. If a trial occurs, adoption attorney must establish grounds for the termination of the noncustodial parent’s rights.
Grounds for termination include the following:
• Abandonment
• Abuse
• Neglect
• Unfitness
• Incompetence
Moreover, a father who was not married to the mother of the child being considered for adoption may not have to consent if he did not establish a substantial relationship with the child. Adoption attorneys usually make every effort to avoid a trial in adoption proceedings. And as is often the case in family law, a willingness to negotiate and discuss the issues can usually bring about consent from even an initially reluctant noncustodial parent. As an adoption attorney, you could work for a firm or government agency, or you may choose to open a private practice. In either case, you should be prepared to work long hours. It’s also not unusual for attorneys to deal with high-pressure situations in representing their clients. Adoption attorneys should have their Juris Doctor, or J.D., degree in law. All states require lawyers to be licensed. Some key skills for adoption attorneys include critical thinking, analytical reasoning, negotiation, research, and writing skills.

Many law schools require that applicants possess a bachelor’s degree. Although no specific undergraduate field of study is required to attend law school, courses in economics, English, public speaking, government, and history can be helpful preparation. Aspiring adoption attorneys may consider completing coursework in child and family studies in order to gain insight into family dynamics and child development. Prepare for the LSAT. The scores on this exam can be a major factor in a student’s admission to a particular school. It’s possible to take sample tests and buy prep books in order to study on one’s own. There are also a variety of companies that offer multi-week prep sessions designed to familiarize examinees with the test’s format.
Step 2: Take the LSAT
All students applying to law school must take the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and submit their scores to schools along with their applications. Most undergraduate students take the LSAT during their junior year of study. The exam, which requires of a half-day of testing, consists of multiple-choice questions designed to test prospect law students’ analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills.
Step 3: Complete Law School
Law school requires three years of full-time study to complete. The first year generally covers basic law subjects such as property, torts, civil procedure, and contracts. Second-and third-year students take elective courses and may also undertake internships with local judges or complete clinical experiences. Clinical law experiences are part of the law school curriculum and provide students the opportunity to gain supervised practical legal experience while attending classes. Students work in law clinics, interview clients, file motions, and sometimes even conduct court trials. Clinical law experiences are generally not paid unless they are undertaken during the summer. Some law schools allow students to concentrate their studies or take electives in family law. Examples of course topics in family law include ethical issues in family law, trial advocacy, children and the law, education law, and bioethics. Complete a family law clinical experience or fellowship. Students who work in family law clinics often provide free services to families and children with low income while at the same time gaining experience in issues like custody, adoption, and other civil areas. Fellowships have similar duties associated with them but are paid, and students must apply for them. Complete a judicial internship with a family law judge. Working alongside a family law judge can provide students with an introduction into how the courts handle family law disputes. Students are assigned to a family law court and gain valuable information and experience in mediation, negotiations between attorneys and judges, court trials, jury selection, and other aspects of the legal system that may not be part of the student’s curriculum.


Becoming a licensed attorney usually requires passing the bar exam for the state in which one wishes to work along with a professional responsibility exam. The format of each state’s bar exam differs but often includes several days of multiple choice and essay questions. Prepare for the bar. The bar exam is very intensive, and those taking it usually need to devote a large number of hours of study to preparing for the exam in order to increase their chances of passing it on the first attempt. Several companies offer exam prep courses that provide instruction about the subjects on the exam and provide sample questions and test-taking techniques.

Adoption attorneys who have worked in family law for three years and served as counsel on at least 25 adoptions can apply for provisional membership in the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. After five years practicing law and working on at least 50 adoptions, attorneys become eligible for full membership as Fellows of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. They are then listed in the AAAA’s Academy Directory, where prospective clients can search for adoption attorneys among the association’s membership, allowing adoption attorneys with this distinction to increase their client base.
What Are The Responsibilities And Duties Of An Adoption Attorney?
The role of an adoption attorney includes filing the appropriate paperwork to begin, continue, and finish the placement process. Another duty or responsibility of an adoption attorney is to appear with you during adoption proceedings. Your adoption attorney should also help you with completely understanding your state’s specific adoption laws. This is something you’ll want to look for when you begin your adoption attorney search– someone who knows the applicable regulations and laws and how they will apply and affect you.

What are adoption attorneys’ fees?

Attorney adoption fees vary by state, experience, and time frame. It all really depends on which adoption attorney you choose. It can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. There isn’t one set rate, so it is important to consider multiple adoption attorneys before you settle on one. Remember that you don’t have to work with the first adoption attorney you come across. Explore your options so that you can be confident and comfortable in your final decision.

How do you find an adoption attorney?

There are many methods available for finding an adoption attorney that is best for your specific situation. If you know of anyone who has been in a similar situation, ask him or her for referrals and contact information for the adoption attorney he or she used. You can also contact local adoption agencies. They should have a list of adoption attorneys they’ve worked with before. Consider joining and actively participating in a support group. This is another great way to receive contact information or adoption attorney referrals. And one of the easiest ways to receive contact information is through our professional directory. Your search can be state-specific and professional type-specific. Whether you want to become a parent through adoption or assisted reproductive technology (ART), or you are a birth parent considering placing your child for adoption, or you want to donate sperm, eggs, or embryos, or you want to become a surrogate, the legal process is complex and evolving. You need an advocate and a guide. Consulting with an attorney who is experienced in adoption, surrogacy, egg donation, and other ART matters is essential. The Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA) provides a credentialed presence in the law of family formation and is the largest professional organization of its type. AAAA and its attorneys are dedicated to the competent and ethical practice of adoption and ART law, advocating for laws and policies to protect the best interests of children, the legal status of families formed through adoption and ART, and the rights of all interested parties including birth parents, adoptive parents, surrogates, donors, and intended parents. AAAA includes 470 attorneys, law professors, and judges who are recognized as Fellows and have extensive experience in the practice of adoption law, ART law, or both. Located around the world – including the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Israel, and the United Kingdom – Fellows of AAAA are considered legal thought leaders and are a highly-vetted, experienced group. Fellows regularly participate in continuing legal education to make sure they are up-to-date on current laws, medical advances, and best practices. They have rapid access to legal resources in other states and countries and to each other for ideas and strategies. Fellows can be trusted to apply all of this to their clients during their family building journey. Attorneys understand how important the adoption process is to those who have been waiting so long to become a family. Therefore, they also understand how frustrating it can be when it seems like there are so many parts of the adoption process that are out of your hands, like your wait time, legal scheduling, birth parent relationships and more. Accepting this lack of control early on will make the adoption process easier on all involved and allow your adoption attorney to focus on what they can do to move the process along. As much planning and preparation you do as prospective adoptive parents, there is always a risk involved when you’re working with prospective birth parents in such an emotionally-charged process. Many times, potential birth parents are dealing with other unstable aspects in their lives, and adding adoption into the mix can make everything more complicated. When you recognize the instability that many expectant parents are facing, you can better understand why some things in the adoption process go the way they do. Adoption is obviously a complicated process with many steps, and it can take time to complete your adoption. Expect a wait time when it comes to finding an adoption opportunity, receiving ICPC clearance, meeting minimum residency requirements for the child before an adoption finalization, etc. Patience can be hard but can also be the most helpful thing for a positive adoption experience. Your adoption agency and adoption attorney are there to help you through all possible complications of your adoption journey, but they can’t do that properly without all of the information they need. Make sure your agency and attorney are aware of any life changes, like a change of address or family composition, as soon as possible. Tell your agency or attorney if the birth parents tell you something that you think could even have a chance of being important. Always tell your agency or attorney everything, even your dark or embarrassing secrets. The more they know the more secure and stable they can try to make your adoption plan. Your attorney doesn’t like surprises. Unfortunately, no adoption can be completely free of legal risk. Birth parent situations and adoption laws can be complicated, so your attorney can not assure you that a certain adoption opportunity is 100 percent legally safe.

Your adoption professionals will do everything they can to reduce this legal risk to be as miniscule as possible. Your adoption finalization requires certain steps to be met. If you’re not updating those requirements as needed, you could delay your adoption’s finalization. This is one of the most important steps to making sure an adoption is completed as quickly as possible. For adoptive families, it can be frustrating to have a baby placed with them but be unable to return home to their normal life. Attorneys and adoption agencies understand how frustrating this can be, and they do all they can to expedite this process. Trust that your attorney is doing everything they can to complete the ICPC process as quickly as possible. If you need a birth certificate quickly for things like a passport, please let your attorney know as soon as possible. Otherwise, a birth certificate can take a good deal of time to make its way to you. When you are in a court in front of the judge during your adoption finalization, you and your guests still need to dress appropriately. This means no shorts, no flip-flops, etc. While an adoption finalization can be a quick event that you already know meets all the requirements for approval, it’s still important to dress in an appropriate manner. If you have questions about your appearance during an adoption finalization, talk to your attorney or your adoption professional.

Adoption Lawyer In Utah

When you need an Attorney For Adoption In Utah, Please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Adoption Legal Help

Adoption Legal Help

Although adoption connects prospective parents with children in need of good homes, and is thus a worthy and vital service, there are often many legal hurdles to overcome before an adoption can take place. For example, prospective parents must prove their fitness for being parents and may have to ask friends and family for letters of recommendation. Additionally, adoption requires certain legal filings and procedures. Some, but not all, of these steps in the adoption process may require the help of an attorney or other legal professional. The following information and tools to help you locate, hire, and work with an attorney for assistance with an adoption matter.

Are you Eligible to Adopt?

One of the useful tools available here is a questionnaire intended to help determine your eligibility to adopt. Laws relating to adoption vary from state to state and this document will not establish with total certainty that you will be found eligible to adopt, but it does touch upon common issues that apply to guidelines generally applicable. It can be viewed as a way to detect potential issues early in the process.

In addition to asking questions that relate to general criteria to adopt there is discussion of the reason for the question being asked and some general principals relating to the issue at hand. By understanding the issues presented here you can better prepare yourself to address potential problems before they interfere with an adoption. If you determine that there is a potential issue there are links to articles relating to eligibility for adoption that can help you learn more about restrictions and how they can be overcome.

It is worth noting that this questionnaire relates to legal eligibility, but agencies, countries, or birth parents may require information about religion, fertility status, educational background, and other aspects of your life and use your responses to determine whether they are willing to permit or participate in an adoption.

Documents you Need

When you are meeting with an attorney to discuss the possibility of adoption there are certain documents that you should bring to your appointment to help the attorney begin to understand the advantages and challenges they may face representing you.

Some documents that are commonly helpful in this situation include certified copies or originals of the adoptive parent(s) birth certificate, marriage and divorce certificates (if applicable), a doctor’s examination and statement from the health insurance company that will cover the adopted child, criminal background check release forms and reports, local police department letters of good standing, passports, and any relevant immigration documentation. Other important items may include letters of reference or a home study.

Adoption Questionnaire

Among the information and materials presented here to help you prepare for an adoption there is a form intended to facilitate the establishment of a relationship with your attorney. The form asks for most of the basic information needed by an attorney to help determine your intentions and eligibility.

Preparing this information in an orderly and concise fashion in advance of your meeting will help you and the attorney maximize your benefit from a consultation or initial meeting. Less time looking for information or filling out paperwork means more time asking and answering important questions that help establish the basis of your working relationship.

Free Consultation with Adoption Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about an adoption or if you need a lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Who Can Adopt in Utah

Welcoming a new child into a family is a joyous and exciting occasion. If individuals or couples choose to expand their families through adoption it also can be a lengthy and confusing process. Before a state will allow an adoption, prospective parents must meet certain requirements. Below is a brief overview explaining who may adopt.

Who Can Adopt in Utah

General Requirements for Adoption

In general, any single adult or a married couple together is eligible to adopt. A stepparent may also adopt the birth child of his or her spouse. Some states allow married persons to adopt alone if they are legally separated from their spouse or if their spouse is legally incompetent. In approximately seventeen states and the District of Columbia, there are no additional conditions specified.

Age Restrictions in Adoption Cases

In approximately six states (Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Washington), a person must be at least eighteen years old to adopt. Three states (Colorado, Delaware, and Oklahoma) and American Samoa set the age at twenty-one and Georgia and Idaho specify age twenty-five. A few states allow minors to adopt under certain circumstances, such as when the minor is the spouse of an adult adoptive parent or when the minor is the unmarried birth parent of the child to be adopted.

Other states have age restrictions that require an adoptive parent to be older than the adopted person by a certain number of years. In approximately six states (California, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Utah) and the Northern Mariana Islands, the adopting parents must be at least ten years older than the person to be adopted. In Puerto Rico, the adopting parent must be at least fourteen years older and in Idaho, the parent must be at least fifteen years older.

Adoption Residency Requirements 

Approximately seventeen states, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands require that petitioners for adoption be state residents. A person’s legal residence is the location of that person’s permanent home or primary home. The required period of residency ranges from sixty days to one year depending on the state. However, there are exceptions to the residency requirement in some states. For example, in South Carolina and Indiana, a nonresident may adopt a child with special needs. In Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Rhode Island, a nonresident may adopt through an agency.

Gay and Lesbian Adoption

The laws in most states are largely silent on the issue of adoption by gay and lesbian individuals. At this time, only two states, Florida and Mississippi, have statutes that explicitly prohibit adoption by homosexuals. Utah bars adoption by persons who are cohabiting but not legally married. The law could be interpreted to prevent gay and lesbian adoptions because Utah same-sex marriage law has been resolved with the recent Supreme Court Case. In Connecticut, the sexual orientation of a prospective adoptive parent may be considered, but state law makes discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal.  Some of the States have not yet resolved their laws, but if you are married; then, you can adopt in Utah.

Can You Adopt a Child? Let an Attorney Help Your Family

Adoption can be a complicated and confusing process, while state laws determine who can (and who cannot) adopt. There may also be certain requirements, such as a home study period, before an adoption is finalized. Don’t go it alone; get the assistance of a family law attorney, who can help clarify the process and its requirements in your state.

Free Consultation with Adoption Lawyer in Utah

If you have a question about a adoption or if you need a lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.9 stars – based on 67 reviews


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Independent Adoption Process

independent adoption process

So, you have decided that you want to adopt a child. But how do you go about doing it? What is going to happen between you decision to adopt a child and eventually receiving a child of your own? In this article, we are going to look at the adoption process and how you can go about adoption a child.

Thе first thing tо consider оnсе уоu hаvе dесidеd tо аdорt a сhild iѕ whаt tуре оf adoption you wаnt tо gо fоr. Do уоu want a dоmеѕtiс adoption (аdорting a сhild in уоur hоmе country) оr an intеrnаtiоnаl adoption? Dо уоu want tо wоrk through a рrivаtе аdорtiоn аgеnсу, a рubliс аgеnсу or wоrk independently? Take ѕоmе timе to соnѕidеr your vаriоuѕ options аnd dеtеrminе whаt is gоing tо work fоr you.

In thе Unitеd Stаtеѕ, couples who wiѕh tо adopt a child will typically hаvе to сhооѕе whiсh рrосеѕѕ they wоuld likе tо go through to аdорt a nеw mеmbеr оf thеir fаmilу. Sоmе соuрlеѕ mау сhооѕе tо foster thеir children thrоugh аn аgеnсу, whilе оthеrѕ mау choose tо рurѕuе аn indереndеnt аdорtiоn. Agеnсiеѕ thаt ѕресiаlizе in аdорtiоn may be fоѕtеr hоmеѕ, ѕосiаl services, оr welfare homes. Adoption аgеnсiеѕ may аlѕо bе рrivаtе аgеnсiеѕ thаt ѕресiаlizе in helping find hоmеѕ for children in need.

If a соuрlе wiѕhеѕ to pursue аn indереndеnt adoption, they mау dо ѕо in a variety оf wауѕ. They mау choose tо foster a child directly from реорlе who аrе unаblе to tаkе саrе оf thе сhild on their оwn. In mаnу саѕеѕ, individuаlѕ whо аrе lооking tо аdорt a child indереndеntlу may аdорt a child with thе assistance оf an experienced attorney, tо mаkе sure that the process iѕ dоnе in thе соrrесt mаnnеr.

It is imроrtаnt for соuрlеѕ who wish tо fоѕtеr a сhild tо invеѕtigаtе thе lаwѕ rеgаrding fоѕtеring in their state ѕо thаt thеу саn сhооѕе thе bеѕt орtiоn for thеir раrtiсulаr situation. Bу соnѕulting аn experienced аdорtiоn аttоrnеу, you may bе аblе tо ensure thаt thе рrореr рrосеdurеѕ аrе fоllоwеd and that аll rеԛuirеmеntѕ are met before thе child is brought hоmе.

Fоr соuрlеѕ whо are соnѕidеring аdорtiоn, it iѕ essential tо соnѕidеr thе following factors bеfоrе moving along with thе аdорtiоn рrосеѕѕ:

• Adорtiоn lаwѕ in your ѕtаtе

• Intеrnаtiоnаl аdорtiоn lаwѕ (if you are considering аdорting a child frоm аnоthеr соuntrу)

Adoption Costs

• Your аgе, marital ѕtаtuѕ, аnd income

If you dесidе thаt аdорtiоn is the right thing fоr уоu аnd your fаmilу, уоu mау bе аblе tо ensure thаt a child receives the lоvе and саrе thаt he оr ѕhе nееdѕ.

Thе adoption рrосеѕѕ саn be a fаirlу lеngthу рrосеѕѕ, although thе еxасt length оf it will depend on a numbеr of factors. Thе first thing invоlvеd iѕ tо dесidе whаt tуре of аdорtiоn уоu want to gо fоr аnd thеn tо choose аn аdорtiоn agency whiсh provides these services. Onсе уоu have givеn your аррliсаtiоn and fее tо аn аdорtiоn аgеnсу уоu will start the рrосеѕѕ of interviews, hоmе ѕtudiеѕ, аnd сhесkѕ. Legal rеԛuirеmеntѕ will аlѕо vary dереnding оn уоur hоmе country as well аѕ the tуре оf аdорtiоn you are gоing for аnd уоu should discuss these with уоur аdорtiоn agency.

Free Consultation with Utah Adoption Lawyer

If you have a question about a Utah adoption or if you need a lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

Ascent Law LLC

4.7 stars – based on 45 reviews


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